02-19-1986, Sports And Entertainment Centre, Melbourne, Australia
I love your theory! Would have been an interesting partnership, most likely with more emphasis on long guitar solos. Maybe they were going to be just a bit too "tight" for Bob and TP offered a bit more looseness / flexibility?
When Mark opened for Bob in 2012 Us&Canada Tour, they played together very rarely, not in Vancouver, anyway (but they both had a solid ’solo’ set)
For more info on the Bob/Dire Straits relationship, check out the article 'What about a Farfisa?' in the 1986 booklet Steppin' Out (published by Val and Brian Lawlan).
It's not online, there's no link.
Ray, you've missed something important here that provides more context to this guest appearance.
Bob dropped in to the Melbourne Dire Straits show to honour a friendly agreement he'd made after Mark Knopfler guested at his Sydney show on 10 February 1986.
It was a good natured 'I'll play yours if you play ours' deal.
This was openly stated in the Australian media at the time after Knopfler's Sydney guest spot.
Bob was not auditioning Dire Straits at their show!
He dropped in on old friends and was being polite after what had happened the week before.
The Dire Straits and Dylan tours were criss-crossing Australia in February/March 1986.
The two occasions where they guested at each other's shows were the only dates where it was possible for this to occur.
All other members of Dire Straits also attended Bob's Sydney show where Mark guested (but they didn't get on stage).
As for the big deal of Bob playing four songs at the Dire Straits show (rather than just one) and them sounding rehearsed... That is because they did rehearse.
They had the afternoon of the show to soundcheck and figure out what they wanted to do.
The songs they played are all pretty simple musically.
All Along The Watchtower has three chords.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat and Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door have four.
License To Kill has five.
I'm sure Dire Straits were capable of knocking them up pretty quickly!
Another thing, Bob's guest spot was not a surprise.
It was reported on Melbourne radio that afternoon that it was going to happen.